Are Your Children a Bridge or a Wedge in Your Marriage?

Are your children a bridge or a wedge in your marriage?

Wedge:

Many parents allow children to be a wedge between them. They have separate discipline policies, differing goals for the children, and different methods of communicating with the children. They talk negatively to the children about the other parent and force the children to take sides between the parents. Some parents use the children as a tool to get even with the other parent. Other parents use the children as an excuse for a bad marriage.

Bridge:

Cheryl and I used our children to bridge our relationship. Obviously couples talk about children naturally, so we used that time to dream together, plan for our parenting, and escape for our personal time. Our two boys became a glue that continually brought us back together. We never gave our boys an answer on major issues until we talked about it together first. We refused to let our boys pit one of us against the other. We didn’t always agree at first, but our boys didn’t know it at the time and it forced us to come together on a decision, which in turn helped strengthen our marriage.

Are your children a bridge or a wedge in your marriage?

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10 thoughts on “Are Your Children a Bridge or a Wedge in Your Marriage?

  1. What about the amount of time you spend with your spouse vs. your kids? My husband often gets jealous of me spending time with the kids instead of him (i.e. putting them to bed). We end up fighting so I feel guilty even tucking them in at night. How do you balance the two?

    • BusyMom, I think you first have to come to an agreement with your husband before you begin to balance the two. After recently becoming an empty-nester (who absolutely adored his kids), I'm thankful my wife and I protected our relationship throughout the years our children were at home. We are truly able to enjoy our time together. One way we did this was to always get on the same page, with each being willing to give up our own interests, and working from this agreed upon position. Deciding the balance you are asking about is much easier when you and your husband can mutually agree what that balance looks like.You might start by asking him (remember timing is everything when you do this) what he believes would be the right balance between you spending time with the kids (at bedtimes and others) and then sharing what you think is healthy. Then together coming to terms with the balance.Not sure that makes sense, but don't be afraid to bring a third party in to help guide this discussion. I don't sense this is a tremendously divisive issue right now, but you want to make sure it doesn't become one.

  2. Bridge: relationships work when we let go of selfishness. As Heidi and I learn to "give up" our own agendas to include the very real needs of our two kids, we discover our capacity for grace and patience for each other increases too.

  3. Beautiful :-) I really admire your dad-ness! And I really love the dad Byron has become. He totally exemplifies everything you just said. And some of my best moments with him has been hearing him pray about our boys specifically and lovingly. It no doubt has glued us together!